Masculinities in the neoliberal context
A workshop facilitated by Mike Abrams and Mercy Kappen
4th - 6th January 2018 at Visthar, Bangalore (
Mike’s work with men started in 2000 as part of a group of community development workers facilitating a program in a poor suburb of Cape Town. They began to realise quickly that the violence and dislocation plaguing the neighbourhood was caused by men and young boys while the renewal programs were driven by women.  A scarred division of labour to say the least! The women often scoffed at men and felt that they were mostly a lazy bunch only interested in drinking and being violent. So they began a conversation with men on street corners. Why were they resisting change and liberation? What would get them involved in reconstruction and development? ‘The answers shocked us’, says Mike. Men began telling stories of pain and anger. Stories of how unemployment and being unable to provide for their families was crushing their spirits.  Stories of how living under apartheid had robbed them of their dignity and ability to speak up and act. Stories of men’s hearts bound so tightly that the only emotions they could feel were anger, frustration and loneliness.
The workshop will focus on patri-anarchy in an age of poverties, fundamentalism, disruptions and global crises. It will analyse how masculine identities are socially constructed and rooted in the nature of relations of reproduction. How the inter-sectionalities of gender, class, race/caste, and sexuality determine masculine identities for individuals and as society as a whole. The workshop will also examine the colonization of masculine identities, internalised oppression and the normalisation of violence. How can we deconstruct dominant forms of masculinities?  What is the role of men in the struggle against patriarchy and for gender equality? These are some of  the questions we will be exploring at the workshop..
·         To provide a platform for a dialogue to deepen our understanding of how growing poverties, ecological disasters, and warfare are a result of and created by dominant and marginalised masculinities.
·         To share insights and analysis of the relationship between political economy and masculine identities.
·         To explore the intersectionality of class, patriarchy and race/ caste in our lives, our families and communities.
·         To learn from and share with social activists in India the understandings of the political economy of masculinities and our collective struggle against patriarchy
The process will be small group focused with participatory and interactive activities for the participants to co-create and deepen understandings of the themes and topics. The facilitators will use theatre, storytelling,  and games as a way for participants to interact, dialogue, learn and enjoy new insights.
Mike Abrams: A popular educator, gender and social justice activist from Cape Town, South Africa. Over the last 25 years he has been facilitating learning among NGOs and social movements with a focus on organisational, community and youth development. As a gender and social justice activist, Mike is involved in struggles and programs which challenge dominant patriarchy and masculine identities, and strive for transformative personal and systemic change. He is a member of the Training for Transformation [South Africa] facilitation team.
 Mercy Kappen : Director, Visthar has over 30 years of experience as a trainer, activist, and programme coordinator. She has a strong foundation in critical pedagogy. Mercy has been involved in designing and facilitating capacity-building for mainstreaming gender and diversity in organizations and programmes and has   co-authored  several training manuals on gender and diversity related topics.
Costs and Registration
The course fee is Rs.5000/- (Five thousand only).  The fee will cover food and stay in twin sharing rooms.  The deadline for registration  is 30th November 2017.  For more information about the workshop, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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